[New-bugs-announce] [issue23971] dict(list) and dict.fromkeys() doesn't account for 2/3 fill ratio

Larry Hastings report at bugs.python.org
Thu Apr 16 01:35:44 CEST 2015

New submission from Larry Hastings:

Matt Mackall brought this over to me today.

If list "l" has one million pairs and you do
it creates the dict, then resizes it to a million elements, then starts adding name/value pairs.  But since it's sized to a million elements, it gets beyond its "fill ratio" comfort level of 666k and resizes.  And when you're up to a million elements, the resize is quite slow.  It should have internally resized the dict correctly from the beginning such that no resize was necessary.

The same is true for dict.fromkeys--passed in a list of 1m elements, it uses an initial size of 1m, not 1.5m.

Attached is a sample patch to change the behavior of both these operations so no resizes are needed during the insertions.  I haven't checked that it actually fixes the behavior, I just made the change and ran the regression test.  (I'm oversubscribed here at the sprints, and am kind of rushing this diff out just to get the conversation rolling.)

Benjamin: what do you think?  Would it be appropriate to make a change like this in 2.7?

Python 3 (or at least 3.5 trunk) is fancy here.  It starts with the minimum size of a dict, then iterates until the new size is > 1.5*the  number of elements.  This means the dicts it creates are of the same size as they would be if we'd started with a minsize dict and inserted one element at a time.  This might help minimize wear and tear on the small block allocator for smaller dicts.

BTW, the internal function _PyDict_NewPresize should really have taken the fill ratio into account too.  But, even though it's an internal-only function, it's probably too late to change its behavior.

components: Interpreter Core
messages: 241179
nosy: benjamin.peterson, larry, marmoute, mpm
priority: normal
severity: normal
stage: patch review
status: open
title: dict(list) and dict.fromkeys() doesn't account for 2/3 fill ratio
type: behavior
versions: Python 2.7

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